Every studio in Hollywood has apparently refused to finance Ray director Taylor Hackford's latest pet project, a feature based on Georges Bizet's classic opera Carmen, starring Jennifer Lopez. Bizet's opera is a dark, tragic tale of a gypsy whose daliances with a soldier and a bullfighter bring down both men, and bring their respective political struggles to a head. Hackford says the suits are afraid of putting Lopez, whose fan base is largely comprised of teenage girls, into a serious, potentially R-rated project in which the heroine is eventually killed. "There is a great deal of fear in Hollywood," Hackford tells the NY Daily News, based on the fact that "many of the films are not working," with moviegoers. "We want to do a tough, hard version, but Hollywood thinks [Lopez'] audience is 13-year-old girls."

The suits couldn't really be trying to get Hackford to make his project adolescent-friendly – and if they are, it's only because they've never seen that MTV version of Carmen, starring Beyonce and subtitled, "A Hip-Hopera". The 12-21 year old audience has, I think, been served an adequete helping of Bizet. It makes perfect sense that no one would back a serious, expensive, drama (and it's not even clear whether or not Hackford plans to make it a musical) starring Jennifer Lopez, who has proven bankable only in romantic comedies and as an actress, has by most accounts never lived up to promise she showed in Out of Sight. The real question is: why doesn't Hackford just go get himself another ingenue? Last I heard, there were one or two other Latina actresses in the world...